Airbus is still determining the sector into which it would launch a hydrogen-powered aircraft, but indicates it will start small and avoid competing with its other aircraft models.

Chief executive Guillaume Faury, speaking during a briefing on 15 February, said the aircraft – intended for service entry around 2035 – is likely to fit the “low end of the market”.

“Hydrogen fits very well with this,” he says. 

Faury says the airframer is “refining the exact positioning” of the proposed aircraft, but states that it will “not compete with the rest of the product range”.

”We could then scale up, depending on success and time, from that position,” he adds.

Airbus has been exploring propulsion options based on hydrogen combustion as well as hydrogen fuel-cells, under its ZEROe initiative, and previously outlined a number of concept aircraft from turboprops to blended-wing designs.

But Faury stresses that any hydrogen-fuelled aircraft development can only run in parallel with progress with certification frameworks, as well as operational and regulatory issues regarding a hydrogen ecosystem.

ZEROe propeller concept-c-Airbus

Source: Airbus

Airbus has considered various hydrogen-powered designs under its ZEROe initiative